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Meditation in American Schools

Studies have examined the effects of meditation using controlled trials in elementary and high schools and they have found a number of positive results.

Meditation in American Schools

This Meditation Education infographic was discovered on Edutopia.


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Syndicated

Reasons Why You Don’t Meditate and 5 Ways to Overcome Them

Often when I suggest to my clients to find time for daily meditation, the response is: “No, I don’t have time for that” or “We don’t meditate in my religion” or “Meditation seems weird.” Fortunately I’ve gotten quite good at reading between the lines, because I’ve come to realize that more often than not, what the client is telling me is “I don’t know how.”

Preconceived notions about meditation:

Though Eastern philosophies are more prevalent and widely accepted in Western culture than possibly ever before, many Westerners still picture a Ghandi-like figure sitting in full lotus position, wearing nothing but a loincloth, and chanting “OMMMMMMMMM.” Familiar?

Another image might be that of a Buddhist monk wearing an orange toga-like garment, holding mala beads and chanting mantras over and over again in a temple full of other people, with the thick scent of incense wafting through the air.

While these images are certainly real–meditation has long been associated with Buddhism, Hinduism, yoga, and other Eastern religions and practices, but it’s done in the West too. The difference is that most Western religions use a different word to describe it: prayer. Think about it–are rosary beads really that different from mala beads? Is reciting prayers in a church or temple really that different from chanting mantras? Not really. []

Read the full article here

Written by Rachel of Holistically Haute


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Treatment

Meditation for Migraines

Migraines, the most cyclical headache that affects people. With excruciating pain, sensitivity to light, shattering nausea, migraines can stop a person literally in their tracks. The triggers of a migraine can vary from stress to music, even a wrong twist of the body can bring one on. There is no known cure for migraines, but there are ways to provide symptom management beyond heavy medications and narcotics. One approach is meditation.

Meditation in its simplest form is considered to be a conscious state of mind. Giving one the power to focus their thoughts on their pain, confronting it, and ultimately being able to control it is the basic principle behind meditation for migraines. Emotionally, “owning” the pain gives the sufferers more opportunity to better understand their symptoms which empowers them to treat it effectively. This empowerment gives those with the condition more control over it, which leads to a healthier emotional outlook. While meditation is a therapy that approaches pain management from a mental stand point, there are some physical benefits to meditation.

Meditation is considered to be one of the best forms of relaxation that is easily approachable and reliable. Forming a meditation routine can help bring relaxation to those that suffer from the pain and discomfort from migraines. Relaxation can help eliminate some of the triggers that bring the painful headaches on. It can allow for less tension in the neck and jaw, shoulders, and upper back – common tension triggers for migraines. It can also create an overall relaxation of muscles, which can also provide symptom relief.

Meditation is an art form that in its most advanced forms can take years to master. However, in its simplest form and with proper breathing, simple meditation can help to alleviate migraine symptoms both emotionally and physically.

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Types of Meditation

Meditation strengthens the brain by improving focus, concentration and productivity. Other benefits are reduced stress, depression, anxiety, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

There are four primary types of meditation.

  • Zen frees the mind by sitting and focusing all attention on an object through many different seated positions and breathing techniques.
  • Mindfulness focuses on paying attention to one’s current state and truly focusing on the present moment.
  • Qigoing is usually practiced while standing and utilizes concentrated breathing, basic hand movements and physical exercises to calm the mind.
  • Mantra relies on the oral repetition of a sound, sentence, or series of words with positive personal significance.

 

Types of Meditation

This image was discovered on the Tumblr blog Back on Pointe

 


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The Health Benefits of Meditation

Found this excellent infographic on the health benefits of meditation produced by www.skinenergizer.com

 

The Health Benefits of Meditation


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Treatment

Meditation for Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis has a long history of causing chronic pain, discomfort, and joint stiffness that can often be paralyzing and detrimental. This lack of fluidity in motion combined with chronic pain can also be mentally daunting. The physical and emotional effects of Osteoarthritis are what make it one of the most troubling diseases and most difficult to treat. While mainstream methods like medication and physical therapy are the primary care plan for Osteoarthritis, more alternative forms of medication are starting to take form. One alternative treatment that can help Osteoarthritis sufferers both physically and mentally is meditation.

Meditation is an ancient form of therapy that allows you to focus on your senses and use your thought processes to address whatever it is that needs addressing. In the case of Osteoarthritis, this can come in the form of addressing pain and symptom management of the disease. By using medication to treat Osteoarthritis, sufferers are given the opportunity to confront the pain and characterize it – sharp and shooting, dull and achy, where exactly it is located, and how it transpires.

Being able to hone in on the specifics of the pain, allow a person to focus or meditate intensely on the specifics of the symptoms. Under the principles of meditation, this extreme focus allows you to concentrate on the origin of the pain, confront it, and ultimately lessen the intensity of it with sheer mental will. The theory of pain management from meditation draws from the idea that pain is a brain response to injury or disease, that it physically only exists within our mental reaction.

Meditation takes time to master, but simple breathing techniques and localized meditation can provide – at minimum – a calming environment that may help with the emotional effects that osteoarthritis has on a person. With some patience, it may even help provide a coping measure for the physical pain associated with the disease.

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Treatment

Meditation for Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia has notable physical symptoms that attack the body: wide-spread pain, chronic fatigue, and notable tender spots in the upper body. Common treatments include physical therapy and medication to help treat the overall symptoms. New studies show that combining neuroscience and meditation may offer a new direction in treating Fibromyalgia.

The theory behind neuroscience and meditation combining to understand and treat Fibromyalgia treatments builds from an emotional and mental approach. According to research, Fibromyalgia sufferers have a neurological pathway that translates the way they feel pain differently than most. This pathway makes the chronic symptoms feel magnified and more centralized than the average person. Combined with an overall lower threshold for pain statistically, Fibromyalgia subjects feel their symptoms on a much higher level than the average person.

Meditation is the practice of focusing thought and energy on a specific thought – in this case, the symptoms of Fibromyalgia. Since studies show that those diagnosed with Fibromyalgia translate pain differently on a subconscious level, it would stand to reason that meditation could be used to effectively treat the symptoms. Building on the theory of neuroplasticity – the thought that nerve cells within the brain have the ability to change themselves – incorporating meditation should have the power to bring the mind to a level of consciousness that can alter how pain is perceived.

Along with its tendency to incorporate relaxation techniques, meditation can retrain the brain to experience Fibromyalgia symptoms differently and bring relief for tension, fatigue, and depression often associated with the illness. Just in general practice, meditation has shown significant success in creating balance for anyone that wants to experience less stress and tension on a muscular and emotional level.

With the brains ability to mold itself and the research continually expanding, it is entirely possible that meditation could become a front-runner in the treatment of Fibromyalgia. The mental capabilities of a person far outshine most medications without the use of harsh narcotics or chemical supplement. This may be a new opportunity to not only treat Fibromyalgia, but to ultimately cure it with both meditation and neuroscience studies.

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Treatment

Meditation

There are many different types of meditation, from mindfulness meditation to walking meditation but the goal is usually the same: to cultivate a quietness of mind enough so as to hear the still small voice of the soul.

It helps one to bring focus to the present moment, to let go of all attachments, to push the pause button on fear and worry and learn to trust that life will provide for you. With regular practice of meditation, one will cultivate an inner peace that will remain in moments of any stress.

How it Works

It works by stilling the thoughts in the mind through the practice of several techniques such as focusing on the breath, chanting, and practicing detachment from all outside influences with non-resistance, while sitting in a relaxed comfortable position for a period of time that one feels is sufficient.

Benefits

The benefits of meditation are reduced stress, more present moment awareness, feelings of calm, and a greater flow of energy.

In a study that was initiated by Jon Kabatt-Zin it was found that the group of meditators that were studied had an increase in the frontal lobe areas associated with greater happiness and calmness than before they began to meditate.

Summary

Meditation is a wonderful healing modality that can be done at home for free, or you can choose to join a group meditation as found at some yoga centers.

It is highly known to reduce stress and enhance more mindfulness of the importance of present moment awareness. Regular practice of meditation is wonderful for healing.

References

  • Real Happiness by Sharon Salzburg
  • Awakening to Joy 10 Steps that Will Put you on the Road to Happiness by James Baraz and Shoshanna Alexander
  • Quiet Mind a Beginner’s Mind to Meditation by Sharon Salzburg
  • Getting into the Vortex by Esther Hicks

 


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Natural Health News and Articles

Walking Meditation Calms the Mind While Keeping the Body Active

Walking offers a multitude of benefits. It can improve mood, lower blood pressure, help control weight and more. It also provides a form of meditation, especially for those who wish to calm their minds but don’t feel like sitting still.

Meditation calms the mind by giving it a rest from the constant chatter that occupies it during the day. Meditation encourages rest, rejuvenation and healing.

Walking is a simple and easy way to implement a meditation practice into an active life, according to Psychology Today.

Here are some steps on how to get started with walking meditation.

  • Allow your breath to to determine the pace in which you walk.  Do not try to breathe as quickly as you walk. It should be the other way around. Match each step with your breath. Walk slowly.
  • Watch your feet. Keep your eyes down and relaxed. Resist the urge to scan the area and get distracted.
  • Pick a place to get started where you can be comfortable and there will be few distractions.

 


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Natural Health News and Articles Video

Guided Meditation for Migraines

Migraine headaches can be debilitating and cause significant pain for hours and up to days. They are often brought on from stress.

Meditation is one of the best forms of relaxation and stress management that is easily approached and reliable.

The following video from Mind Space offers an 8-minute guided meditation to help relieve the pain a migraine causes.

[themedy_media type=”youtube” url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JURgpCsZyY”]

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Natural Health News and Articles Video

Meditation to get to Sleep

People who have trouble getting to sleep often have difficulty relaxing. An ongoing series of mental and physical irritations prevent sleep from arriving – their mind races, their body is restless, and their breath is uneven.

Relaxation techniques specifically designed to soothe tight muscles, increase regular respiration and clear the mind are particularly useful to ward off insomnia.

Meditation is a relaxation technique that can help one find the way to dreamland. Guided visual meditation technique includes closing the eyes, thinking of a peaceful object or scene, visualizing its detail and taking calming breaths.

Bedtime Zen has created this holistic, natural guided meditation to help people fall asleep more quickly and regularly. YouTube comments include, “This is amazing! So relaxing. Didn’t think it would actually work but it sent me straight to sleep. Thank you.” The video combines background music and sounds, with a soothing voice that will gently guide you to sleep.

[themedy_media type=”youtube” url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2qD_TAcz0E”]

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Natural Health News and Articles Video

Jerry Seinfeld & Howard Stern Discuss Transcendental Meditation

Howard talks about how Transcendental Meditation saved his mom and has helped him greatly. And Jerry shares how he wish he had done TM when he was doing the Seinfeld show.

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